Q: How are you feeling (after the hit on the sideline)?
Never better, never better and thank you very much for asking. I will end up on NFL Films forever. I told our defense that last week we practiced with more energy and more enthusiasm and greater speed than we had in a long time. It was shocking, I looked up and said is that the same guys. I tell you they had great purpose and the way they practiced is the way they played. Tonight they were exceptional and regardless of the circumstances, kept turning the Jet offense back and that was the determining factor in the game. We weren’t having a very good night offensively and the thought to me was let’s just not turn it over and of course in that one situation, which was a crusher, we had a run called and we had too many people in the box. We threw a simple pass and it got bounced up in the air and it was a great play by the linebacker. Our guys played through that and they did a great job despite having that adversity thrown at them when they had just received a turnover and we turn around and give it right back to them. My hats off to our special teams, I thought we did a good job. I didn’t like the ball going down the middle of the field a couple times on the punt but we did a good job in that regard. Then late in the game, we put the ball on the ground and did a pretty good job with that. It was a very nice locker room and it will be a very nice Christmas Eve and Christmas for the guys starting tonight.
Q: Can you talk about
A: He played his way and he practiced like that last week. He didn’t miss a snap and he went hard. He prepared himself to play and he changed his outlook and demeanor. He got very positive. He decided not to be concerned with the little nicks that he had that were very bothersome to him. He decided to go the other way with them and basically ignore them and that is how he played.
Q: How hurt are you after getting hit on the sideline?
A: I am never better. Nobody is worried about how fast I am and nobody was ever worried about that, as a matter of fact. I got it on the knee but I think it is up higher. You can imagine what the players said when they went by, ‘no toughness no championship.’ I said, you are exactly right.
Q: No MRI?
A: I am not going anywhere or checking anything.
Q: What was going through your mind when you walked across the field toward the other team’s coach after the game?
A: I was very excited that we won, I was happy for our fans and our owners. Of course, I allowed myself a moment to get caught up in the season with a thought as well. It was a hard fought game and it was a battle. We wanted it to be and obviously the game to decide it and it did decide it that way.
Q: How important was the Cruz touchdown?
A: We had some issues obviously with our receiving corps and I thought he was the one guy that could give us that kind of play and he certainly did give us that kind of play. He almost earlier did the same kind of thing so we all got a tremendous lift when he went coast to coast.
Q: Can you talk about the mentality of running in the second half?
A: Obviously at halftime we were not real happy and we talked about the fact that we had to do a better job of blocking them. They did a good job of matching our personnel schemes and taking away some of the things that we thought when we went in, we thought we had. We were able to put it on the ground and run some time off the clock and gain some yardage. After the safety, I was telling Ahmad that it has happened twice to me where everybody is loaded up and the ball comes popping through. It is a great scene.
Q: Can you talk about controlling your own destiny?
A: It started last week. We knew that if we won two that we would be the winner of the NFC East and be in the playoffs so we have two games and now one under our belt. To be honest with you, we need to put this one aside as fast as we can and go to work on Dallas with the same attitude we had last week. Basically, I just walked into the team meeting Tuesday and said, ‘if we win two, then we are in. I am not going to focus on last week’s game at all, everything that we are going to do is in front of us.’
Q: Do you have anything to say about the talk about running the city and bragging rights?
A: I am not going to get into all of that.
Q: Does this victory make a statement?
A: We won the game.
Q: What does this win mean?
A: We won the game and it keeps us in the playoffs. It keeps us in the hunt with destiny in our hands. That is the only way to look at it.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on all the calls that didn’t go your way?
A: We are going to have to re-visit the ‘tuck’ rule. I thought the quarterback was pulling it down to run and the ball comes out then they make that ruling. We haven’t had many of those overturned in the last six weeks. Unbelievable.
Q: What did you think about the Jets covering up your Super Bowl logos outside your locker room?
A: I won’t mention what I thought.
Q: What did you say that made the practices so good last week?
A: I don’t think it was anything I said. I think they realized the circumstances that we were in and the fact that it is a wonderful time of the year. These are young men, they have the world by the tail and they work for a great team and a great franchise. It is a wonderful season and if you would have said at the beginning of the season, with two games to go, we determine our own fate, we would have signed up for it.
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